Amber Asylum – GardenOfLoveAutonomySuiteStillPoint

up_090505_amberasylumThis is a 3 song 10″ on nice heavy vinyl, and it marks the first new release from Amber Asylum in five years. “Garden Of Love” opens the A side with deep cello moans and slow and deliberate percussion that has an organic almost Funeral Doom feel to it. It is somewhat sparse, but even in that the power of the composition builds a grandiosity. The vocals are delivered in an soft understated manner, and given some distance with reverb that further bolsters the lost in mourning feel of the track. Then a sharp swell of high end violin draws the track up from the murk like the last desperate flail of the drowning and the girth of everything is increased, heavier drums, louder strings, more forceful vocals, and it falls back again into nothingness. “Autonomy Suite,” an instrumental piece, is the other track on the A side, and the strings on this track really floored me, the pain and nervous energy in the manner of bowing used gives this track a rare kind of energy. The dynamics of the track swell and withdraw against a march like cadence, bold and delicate at varying moments and it works wonderfully. The B side is made of up “Still Point,” which is delivered in two movements. A fragile lilt of strings and minimal piano are soon met by the heart squeezing ethereal vocals and a soft trumpet. Almost at an unnoticeable pace the drama of the track begins to build, gradually, the elements gain more distinction in the mix, and have their own moments of accent as the first movement draws to a close. The second movement opens with a stronger focus on the cello and trumpet melody and the piano clinks in relative isolation in the background. There is a very cinematic quality to it that suggests tension and remorse as it slowly fades away. This is a band that I have had a special appreciation for for a long time, and I felt their five year absence. This is a welcome return and another nice evolution to their organic and evocative chamber dirges. The band self released this, and with a few exceptions, is only selling it direct and at shows, so if you want a copy you may well need to go right to the source… something that is never a bad idea anyway. Beautiful. – Scott

~ by scottsplatter on January 3, 2009.

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